Denzel Washington Donates Millions, Hires Phylicia Rashad

The Oscar-winning actor gives over $2 million to his alma mater.

Posted: 10/07/2011 12:41 PM EDT
Denzel Washington

New York City’s Fordham University has undoubtedly produced greats. Aside from the legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, Denzel Washington also counts himself as an alumnus. The Washington Post says that of the $2.25 million the two-time Oscar winner donated, $2 million is going toward creating and hiring the Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre, actress Phylicia Rashad. The New York Times notes that the director of Fordham’s theater program would not disclose Rashad's salary.

 

“The Cosby Show” mom and Tony Award winner, who starred in Langston Hughes’s A Raisin in the Sun with Sean Combs, Audra McDonald and Sanaa Lathan, will step into the new role of "university professor" this fall. Her Tony win for A Raisin in the Sun made her the first African-American actress to win the award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play. Washington won for his leading role in August Wilson’s Fences.

 

As this is a new partnership, Rashad is the first person to hold this position. Washington said in a statement, "Phylicia Rashad, as the inaugural holder of the chair, will provide the care, compassion and that extra push to help take students where they’re meant to go.”

(Photo: Kris Connor/GettyImages)

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